When I created this website, I focused on beard care products (like shampoo, soap, and conditioners) and beard grooming products (like trimmers, combs, and brushes). But over the years of reading your comments, I quickly learned that many readers are interested in ways to improve beard growth, beard thickness, and over-all beard health.
I’ve consolidated my research into this article, where I cover the different products, how they work, and which ones you should use.
Each one, a snowflake. Source: The Commons, Flickr.
Beard Growth Creams
Purpose: To grow new beard hair from ‘dormant” follicles.
Beard growth creams (or serums) work because they contain minoxidil. Scientists don’t know why minoxidil works, but they do know how it works.
Minoxidil works by dilating the small capillaries in your skin. Capillaries deliver blood from your veins to the various layers of your skin, including your hair follicles. Thus, when you dilate capillaries (make them bigger), you increase blood-flow to your follicles, giving them more nutrients. This allows them to produce longer, thicker, healthier beard hair, faster.
The Fine Print
Sadly, there is one major drawback to using a minoxidil treatment–you have to use it forever. The reason is obvious: if you stop using minoxidil on your face, then your capillaries will return to their original size. This will choke back blood-flow to your follicles, throttling the flow of nutrients to your beard hairs. Slowly, your beard hairs that only grew due to the minoxidil treatment will shrivel up and, eventually, fall out. Note that this does not affect existing beard hair in any way. If your beard was able to grow before the minoxidil treatment, then those same hairs will continue to grow after you stop using it.
Thus, the choice to use minoxidil is a life-long choice.
That said, some people choose to use minoxidil to jump-start their beard while they work on other areas. For example, a man who is unhealthy, has a poor diet, and does not exercise, will likely grow a poor quality beard. He may choose to use minoxidil while he simultaneously works on his health. Then, someday in the future when he is healthy and his beard is vibrant, he may choose to stop the minoxidil treatment. If his blood is chocked full of nutrients due to his improved diet, and if his blood-flow is strong due to his continued exercise, then his beard may stay the way it is, even after he stops taking minoxidil.
Beard Growth Shampoos
Purpose: To make existing beard hair healthier, and to prevent beard hair loss.
Some beard growth shampoos, like beard growth creams, use substances to increase blood flow to your follicles, (like niacin and minoxidil). They all come with sebum-fighting agents that clear your follicles of built up “wax”. Over time, many men build up sebum secretions which can block hair follicles, choking them out. These shampoos work by dissolving away caked-up sebum secretions, and washing away any remaining sebum. This leaves follicles clean and clear, which is an optimal environment for maximum beard growth.
Beard growth shampoos are designed to go hand-in-hand with beard growth creams. However, if you don’t need a minoxidil treatment, the beard growth shampoo is a great product to use by itself.
The Lipogaine beard growth shampoo includes niacin, which stimulates the small skin capillaries, increasing blood-flow, This product is designed to work alongside the Lipogaine minoxidil treatment.
What a couple of dapper gents. The far right one looks like Ian McKellen (Gandalf). Source: The Commons, Flickr.
Beard Growth Vitamins
Purpose: To improve the nutritional quality of your blood, which gives beard hair the food it needs to grow.
Beard growth vitamins are male multivitamins designed specifically to provide beard-healthy nutrients to your follicles. For otherwise healthy men who simply have poor diets, beard growth vitamins are a great way to inject the food into your bloodstream that beards need to thrive.
If your blood has the necessary nutrients because you use these vitamins, but your capillaries are choked preventing blood-flow to your follicles, then your beard won’t grow until you use a beard growth cream.
If your capillaries are dilated and plenty of blood reaches your follicles, but your blood is depleted of nutrients, then beard hair won’t grow until you adopt a better diet (with lots of healthy protein), or take some beard growth vitamins.
In this way, beard growth vitamins and beard growth creams go hand-in-hand. You can use any of them separately, but they all go great together.
- Beard growth multivitamin: This beard growth vitamin contains the minerals and protein necessary to kick-start your dormant beard follicles and produce new growth.
Purpose: To increase the male hormone that triggers beard growth in adult males.
The final piece in this jigsaw puzzle is testosterone. Testosterone is the fuel that makes beards grow. This is why men don’t start growing beards until puberty hits–when boys start producing larger levels of testosterone. As Dr. Alan Bauman said in my recent interview with him, there are certain types of testosterone that are bad for head hair, but all types of testosterone are good for beard growth. Thus, more testosterone equals better beard growth.
You can increase your testosterone naturally by improving your diet, eating natural protein, and exercising. Some men may not need testosterone, but many men are deficient. I discovered that I was testosterone deficient when I had some blood work done recently. I was rather shocked, but my doctor said that this was fairly common in today’s generation of men who often live sedentary lifestyles. If you don’t exercise, and if you are overweight (like me), your body produces more estrogen and less testosterone, than if you remain active and lose weight.
In the meantime, there are a number of excellent testosterone supplements on the market. I’ve collected the top rated products that have been on the market the longest for you to consider. All of these have excellent reviews.
- Testosterone Booster: Good testosterone can help hair grow and stay healthy. One reason men go bald as they age is that their good testosterone decreases and estrogen increases. Consider taking a testosterone supplement, especially if you are a bit older. Or, start practicing a testosterone-friendly lifestyle, involving the right foods. The Testosterone.IO program is a good one.
Some men are genetically predisposed to growing thick, bushy beards, while other men have a harder time with it. Even if you have a healthy diet, and are otherwise healthy in every way, you may not grow a nice thick beard simply due to your family genetics. (This is particularly true of Native Americans and east Asians). That said, you can still force your body to produce the beard you want by using all of the products on this page.
- Minoxidil beard growth cream: to jump-start dormant follicles and force beard growth in healthy men
- Beard growth shampoo: To dissolve built-up sebum and other natural waxes, and to wash away detritus that can block follicles, choking out beard hair.
- Beard growth vitamins: to make your blood healthier, which will give follicles the nutrients to produce amazing beard hair.
- Testosterone supplements: To give your body the necessary levels of the male hormone that triggers facial hair growth.
I hope you found this guide useful! Happy bearding gentlemen. Leave us an account of your progress in the comments, below.